Evolution of a N Gauge - 3' x 5' Layout for the absolute beginner

 

KEWAUNEE, GREEN BAY & WESTERN R.R.
AND
THE AHNAPEE & WESTERN RY.

An N Scale - 80" x 32" – Hollow Core Door Layout

This Layout was developed from the original Tutorial layout (for more information or a better understanding of this plan refer to http://users.iafrica.com/c/ca/caroper/tutorial) as an example of applying a theme, to a layout, to give a sense of time & place and provide for meaningful operations. The track plan is the "Advanced tutorial plan" with minor adjustments to a few of the spurs (sidings).

Whilst browsing through back issues of Model Railroader Magazine, I came across "A Railroad you can model – The Green Bay and Western" (February & April 1978). One of the Key elements of the advanced tutorial plan was the car float for active staging, and as the GB&W schedule (Time Table) was based on the arrival times of the Ann Arbor and Chesapeake and Ohio RR car-ferries, further investigation was warranted.

A quick search of the Internet turned up an excellent web site by Mark Mathu packed with valuable historical information and links to even more. In Mark’s words:

Green Bay & Western Lines: The East-West Short Route
http://gb_route.tripod.com/
The Green Bay & Western RR, its predecessors and affiliated lines; prototype and modeling information.

With this much information available it would be a crime to pass up such a great opportunity, so an attempt to reconcile the track plan with the system map was called for.

The following schematic was developed:

 

The Green Bay & Western is one complete circuit of the oval, starting in the A/D tracks and proceeding clockwise around the loop. At Casco Junction, Kewaunee trains will take the left leg and proceed down the Kewaunee Branch to the ferry slip. Algoma Trains will proceed through Casco Junction for another half lap, arriving at the timesaver (Algoma).

Apart from the obvious (extreme) compression required in fitting such a large system into an 80" x 32" layout, the two most serious flaws are that, Kewaunee should be south of Algoma and Summit is used twice to arrive at Algoma.

Neather of which is a problem for the sake of operations. Flaw No.1 may be ignored (as North, South, East, West are largely subjective on an oval layout at best) and, as the Algoma branch sees comparatively little traffic, the shared siding should not prove to be too much of a hindrance to operations. It could even enhance operations, as the Kewaunee trains are superior, the Algoma train will find itself sitting "in the hole" on most runs and will have to switch the timesaver (Algoma) without fouling the main. A challenge for even the most seasoned operators.

 

The key to operations on the real Green Bay and Western (other than the ferry) was McDonald yard, which handled interchange with the CNW (Chicago & North Western) and the MILW (Milwaukee R.R.). Unfortunately we can’t fit this trackage in to our plan, so we compromise by assigning yard track three as the makeup track for the transfer run, as well as westbound GB&W trains. In this way we can concentrate on operating the two branches and use track three as a fiddle yard, swapping cars between operating sessions.

 

The result is the best of all operating schemes, a bridge route, allowing us to move any type of car, in either direction (with due consideration to loads and empties) and still be faithful to real railroad practice. Yet we still retain local traffic and passenger service (mixed trains or specials). We also have an excuse to use locomotives and stock from several different companies. Green Bay was the main shop for the GB&W as well as all of her subsidiaries, performing Locomotive and Car repairs. We also interchange with four different railroads (CNW, MILW, Ann Arbor and C&O, in addition to the GB&W, KGB&W and the A&W being the modeled lines) handling traffic from both the East and West.

 

This Layout should provide adequate work for three operators (Yard Master and 2 Road Crews) but still be satisfying to a loan operator if a more relaxed schedule is used.

"As to the exact translation of the Indian name 'Kewaunee' authorities differ. It is said to signify 'go around' while some allege that it is the Algonquin name for 'wild duck'. The weight of authority is, however, in favor of the former definition, and what better name for a basically oval track plan?"

 

Footnote

The main focus, at this time, is on track planning and operations. The details of construction and scenery will be added later as the project expands. Like wise, the only graphics at this stage are GIF images of the track plan. I will be adding photographs, a full glossary and " hints and tips" as the project grows.

I retain the copyright on this work and reserve the sole right to publish the material, text and track plan. It is a work in progress and will be updated often.

Copyright © 1999-2000 – C. A. Roper

No part of this text or plan may be reproduced, in part or whole, other than as an aid to building a layout for your personal use, without the express permission of the author. For information or to give feed back contact caroper@iafrica.com.

This is a work in progress and will continue to be updated.

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Last updated Saturday, May 27, 2000

Index

 

Copyright © 1999-2000 – C. A. Roper

No part of this text or plan may be reproduced, in part or whole, other than as an aid to building a layout for your personal use, without the express permission of the author. For information or to give feed back contact caroper@iafrica.com.